Avoiding Decorating Injuries over the Holidays

christmas-lights-1518117-1279x852-300x200It’s not surprising that so many of the injuries that are reported to hospital emergency rooms over the Christmas and New Year’s season every year have to do with decorating. After all, there are many risks associated with the act of hanging up the holiday lights and decking the hall.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that there were about 15,000 injuries linked to decorations in 2012. Most injuries were related to lights and trees, but there are a number of other ways that you can be injured while decorating during the holidays.

In order to avoid becoming one of the statistics and requiring a trip to the emergency room this holiday season, keep these important pointers in mind.

Many holiday injuries over the Christmas and New Year season have to do with tree fires. Buy only a fresh tree, and always avoid dry trees. Dry trees are much more likely to catch fire. Remember, a dry tree can burn down much quicker, leading to flames quickly spreading across the room and throughout the house. If you’re buying an artificial tree, buy one that is made of non-inflammable material.  Store your tree away from heat or fire sources, like fireplaces or radiators. Holiday fires are far more common in American households than you realize. In order to avoid a sudden fire over the holidays, make sure that you put out all candles before going to sleep. Turn off the lighting before you go to bed. A sudden short-circuit could spark a fire.

In addition, many accidents reported during the holidays have to do with people falling off ladders and steps while hanging decorations. Ask someone to help you when you are climbing a ladder; someone should hold on to your ladder and provide a strong base for you to avoid a fall. Be especially careful if you have children helping you hang up the decorations.

Keep your floor clear and uncluttered after you finish decorating. Don’t leave decorations lying around on the floor as these could pose a serious trip and fall hazard. They could also cause a painful injury if somebody steps on these ornaments. Try to use unbreakable ornaments as much as possible, in order to avoid the risk breakage, and stepping hazards.

Only use high-quality, well-functioning electrical lighting. Check your lights before you put them up and ensure that you have no exposed wires that could pose a serious electrical shock or electrocution hazard. If your lights have damaged wires, or broken sockets, discard these.

Hanging decorations is one of the most beloved parts of the festive season. Make sure, however, that you don’t injure yourself or other members of the family or expose anyone to hazards while doing so.

The Indiana personal injury lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP represent persons who have been injured as a result of negligence. Our attorneys help injured parties all across the state of Indiana. Whether the injuries occurred as a result of medical malpractice, negligent drivers, or a construction accident, our firm is ready to help you. Years of experience are at your service. If you have suffered an injury, call an attorney at our firm and receive a free evaluation of your case.